I’d like to welcome romantic suspense author Kaylie Newell, author of Falling in Danger and A Death That Lingers. We’ll learn more about Falling in Danger—including a giveaway—but first, let’s see what she has to say…
1. When did you start writing?
I started writing short stories in elementary school. Mostly I wrote about horses, since I was a certifiable horse nut. Then I went through a “news caster” phase in junior high, when I wrote the script for fake news clips and forced my family to sit and watch me act them out. Writing romance came a little later.
2. Sum up your current WIP in one to three sentences.
A young woman who lives on the wrong side of the tracks and who is very sexually experienced, meets a middle aged cop who has just lost his wife and hasn’t had sex since. They’re both about to learn a little something about lust…and love. It’s a fun, naughty novella I’m working on right now.
3. What do you love about being a writer? What do you hate?
I love being able to transport myself to another world through writing. I love living vicariously through my characters. And I love hearing from someone who has enjoyed reading one of my stories just as much as I enjoyed writing it. The hardest part (for me) about being a writer is having to dig deep in that well of creativity on days when you’re tired, sad, or just not in the mood. It’s tough mentally to get your mind wrapped around a certain story when other things are going on in your life that aren’t necessarily meshing with the romance mojo. That’s hard. But even though there are rough days, the great days far outnumber them. By a lot.
4. What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a fairly open book. I’d love to think I was mysterious, but I’m one of those people who post what kind of cereal they had for breakfast on Facebook.
5. If you have pets, what are they and what are their names?
Dodger, an elderly Chihuahua mix, Cosmo, a completely indifferent cat, and Alice, another completely indifferent cat.
6. Do you have the hots for one of your characters? Who and why?
Oh, dear. Yes. I seem to develop inappropriate thoughts for every single one of my heroes. Paul Stark from A Death That Lingers is particularly hot. He’s dark, brooding and mysterious. No surprise there.
Ian Cole from Falling In Danger is pretty yummy, too. He’s a tough-guy detective with the LAPD who has a soft spot for animals. Even my editor admitted that Ian gets her motor revving. As a writer, that’s about the best compliment in the world!
7. Where do you get your story ideas?
My heroes have always been police officers. I worked for just under a decade in a small town police department where I soaked up too many story ideas to count. As well as a healthy appreciation for a man in uniform.
8. What does a typical writing day look like to you?
We have two little girls, so I try my hardest to write when they’re in school. I drop them off in the mornings and head straight to Barnes and Noble to score my favorite chair. I’ll usually spend about an hour every morning on social networking and blogging before I get down to business on my current WIP. In the summer when the girls are home, it gets a little more complicated, but I can usually get in a few hours of writing time a day by bribing them with a cookie and a movie. Okay…it’s more like three cookies and a movie.
9. When did you know you wanted to be an author? When did you realize it could actually become a reality?
I knew I wanted to write books ever since I learned to read them. I remember in high school, my English teacher, who I adored, handed me back a paper with a little note scrawled across the top. It said “I suspect you’ll write a novel one day.” I cherished that paper because it was the first time I really wondered if it was possible. Then, many busy years went by when I put writing aside to make room for life (college, marriage, babies), before I found that paper again in a dusty box in my parent’s garage. When I picked it up, I felt an overwhelming sadness. Like I hadn’t become what I’d hoped to be when I was younger. So I started writing again. Poems and short stories at first, and then my first book. It took me a good three years of serious writing with the ultimate goal of being published before I got “the call.” I’m so incredibly proud of where I am now. It’s taken a lot of hard work. But if I can do it, anyone can.
10. If you’re in a critique group, how long have you been together and how did you meet?
I’m biased, but I think my critique partners are the most fabulous gals in the whole Western Hemisphere. I’ve been with them for about a year and we e-mail back and forth nearly every day. They provide wisdom, support and laughter on a daily basis. We met through RWA-Online Chapter, where we’re all members.
That’s one big piece of advice I’d definitely give newbie writers. Join a writing group and network, network, network. It’s been the single most important thing I’ve ever done for my writing. And my sanity!